Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Edited by Fernando Espada, Juliano Fiori, Duncan McLean, Tanja Müller, Michaël Neuman, Róisín Read, Isabelle Schläpfer, Gemma Sou and Bertrand Taithe

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Journal Information

  • ISSN: 2515-6411 (Online)
  • Frequency: Triannual


The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs is an exciting, new open access journal hosted jointly by The Humanitarian Affairs Team at Save the Children UK, and Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires MSF (Paris) and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester. Contributing to current thinking around humanitarian governance, policy and practice with academic rigour and political courage, the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs challenges contributors and readers to think critically about humanitarian issues that are often approached from reductionist assumptions about what experience and evidence mean. The journal engages with contemporary, historical, methodological and applied subject matters through diverse online content, including peer reviewed articles, expert interviews, policy analyses, literature reviews and ‘spotlight’ features.

The journal was founded on the belief that the sector is growing and facing severe ethical and practical challenges. The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs provides a space for serious and inter-disciplinary academic and practitioner exchanges on pressing issues of international interest.

The journal aims to be a home and platform for leading thinkers on humanitarian affairs, a place where ideas are tested, controversies are aired and new research is published and scrutinised. Areas in which submissions will be considered include humanitarian financing, migrations and responses, the history of humanitarian aid, failed humanitarian interventions, media representations of humanitarianism, the changing landscape of humanitarianism, the response of states to foreign interventions and critical debates on concepts such as resilience or security.

Editorial Board



Fernando Espada, Save the Children
Juliano Fiori, Save the Children
Duncan McLean, MSF Switzerland-UREPH
Tanja Müller, University of Manchester
Michaël Neuman, MSF-CRASH
Róisín Read, University of Manchester
Isabelle Schläpfer, University of Bern
Gemma Sou, University of Manchester and RMIT University
Bertrand Taithe, University of Manchester

Managing Editor

Phoebe Shambaugh, University of Manchester

Advisory Board

Sharon Abramowitz, The State University of New Jersey
Heba Aly, The New Humanitarian
Urvashi Aneja, Jindal School of International Affairs
Laetitia Atlani Duault, IRD – Paris University / FMSH / Columbia University
John Borton, HPG, Overseas Development Institute
Jeff Crisp, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and Chatham House
Samir Elhawary, OCHA
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, University of College London
Dorothea Hilhorst, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Shani Orgad, London School of Economics and Political Science
David Rieff, non-fiction writer and journalist
Lisa Ann Richey, Copenhagen Business School


The editors encourage the submission of inter-disciplinary papers that challenge and advance the growing area of Humanitarian Affairs. Details of the types of articles, including extent, themes and approach are below. Articles must be prepared according to the journal’s style guidelines (last updated January 2021). Authors can review the author resources area for more information on how to write and prepare their article and other MUP policies.

Submissions are made online via the JHA ScholarOne website:

The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs publishes a selection of special and themed issues alongside accepting open submissions for general publication. We welcome submissions from guest editors on a broad range of issues relating to humanitarianism, and particularly encourage well-rounded issues that include critical perspectives. For more information see the special issue guidelines.

Open Access Policy

The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs is a fully Open Access journal. No fee is payable by the author or their institution to submit or publish in the journal. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full texts of the articles under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence:

Types of articles

Research article (max. 7,000 words including abstract and bibliography)
Original research articles are encouraged on any aspect of humanitarianism, encompassing both theoretical and/or practice-based issues. Articles should advance knowledge about the field of humanitarianism, including articles on the broader implications of the topic as well as those focused more narrowly on specific case studies, practices or concepts. The humanitarian sector is rapidly changing and faces a range of ethical, political and practical challenges. Therefore, the editors welcome original research contributions which critically engage with how these challenges are being negotiated in theory and in practice. In turn, contributions will draw from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including, but not limited to, anthropology, cultural studies, economics, law, history, organisational studies, philosophy, politics, public health and sociology.

We particularly encourage interdisciplinary papers and those that use innovative approaches to interrogate the field and identify new areas of inquiry. Topics include, but are not restricted to, humanitarian financing, migrations and responses, the history of humanitarian aid, failed humanitarian interventions, media representations of humanitarianism, the changing landscape of humanitarianism, the response of states to foreign interventions, critical debates on concepts such as resilience, sustainability, security, etc. Manuscripts should be original contributions and should not have been published elsewhere or be under consideration for any other publication at the same time. We aim to appeal to a broad audience, so articles should be written in an accessible English and any specialist terms should be clearly explained.

Op-ed (max. 1,000 words, including abstract and bibliography)
Op-eds should relate directly to the theme of the journal issue. Authors should concisely put forward an opinion, supported by argument and evidence that engages with existing debates or opens up new debates. Op-eds can focus on practical or theoretical questions, but preference will be given to those that speak to both practitioners and academics.

Field report and situation analysis (max. 3,500 words, including abstract and bibliography)
Each issue of the journal will include two pieces reflecting on humanitarian programmes, recounting experiences of humanitarian practice, or providing analysis on a particular programme or response. These can be written as descriptive reports, analytical essays, or chronicles/diaries. Focused on experience, they should give particular attention to tensions and contradictions, innovative practices, challenges and struggles, and stories of success and failure.

Literature review (max. 4,000 words, including abstract and bibliography)
Literature reviews or extended book reviews should contain the state of the art pertinent to a particular topic, present clearly to readers the challenges and debates around this topic and give indications on where to find the best sources. We expect this section of the journal to open doors and facilitate further critical engagements. Authors who wish to concentrate on a major new publication are invited to present it in relation to the wider literature. Authors who wish to concentrate on a debate and its wider literature are invited to present their argument through a clear and concise exposé if the state of the art. Submissions should normally be no longer than 4,000 words. Longer texts may be acceptable subject to discussion with the editor. Submissions will be reviewed by the editorial committee of the journal and are subject to approval.


Call for Papers

In addition to journal’s general call for submissions, the editors invite proposals to the following special issue:

There are currently no calls for special issues (November 2021).


See here for our full ethics statement.

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